John English

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Mobile service providers face an ongoing challenge to handle the mobile data explosion and potentially declining revenues as the subscriber base becomes saturated. Juniper Research recently projected that mobile data will increase 533 percent from 2014 to 2019. Wifi Offload is the obvious solution to address the mobile data crunch, which takes traffic off the LTE network and puts it on the Wifi network to conserve investments in mobile broadband networks. As I discussed in an earlier blog, VoWifi benefits the mobile service provider, freeing up network resources by also taking advantage of local Wifi networks to handover calls which may in fact improve mobile voice service availability and quality. In this blog, I will explore the monitoring requirements to help assure carrier Wifi is a viable offload solution.

Wifi Monitoring Priorities should include:

  • Access Point (AP) - Health and Performance
  • Service Reliability and Performance
  • User - Quality of Experience
  • Subscriber Device (Handset) Usage and Metrics
  • Support Business Analytics

To start, the monitoring solution must provide key metrics for determining AP health. The Key Performance Indicators (KPI) that you will want to monitor cover the complex user login session flow, which includes protocols that provide authentication and access: DHCP, RADIUS, DNS, HTTPS. The critical KPIs include: application identification, utilization and throughput, response time measurements and application specific error code distribution. The graphic below shows how the Authentication process can be monitored for various locations to look at the success and failure, volumes, latency and errors experienced by that critical procedure.

Operational Level Service PerformanceGiven the number of access points being deployed, the ability to auto-discover access points is essential. Ed essere in grado di organizzarli, accorparli e visualizzarli in viste relative ai mercati e alle aree facilita il monitoraggio proattivo costante delle reti WiFi. La mappatura geografica delle misurazioni AP è una tecnica molto diffusa e utile in tale contesto.

In addition, network operators, engineers, marketers and executives will want reports on access point health, market and regional performance and user experience metrics (connect time, app throughput, latency) for the overall management of the application.

Finally, another important consideration for monitoring and managing Wifi access and offload is business analytics. Le prestazioni AP e l'uso da parte dei consumatori delle risorse WiFi sono una fonte estremamente ricca di informazioni per la pianificazione della rete, per il marketing, per la gestione operativa e per altro ancora. Relazioni sulle attività di navigazione web, sull'utilizzo da parte delle prime 10 applicazioni web, sui servizi a valore aggiunto (inserimento di annunci) e altro ancora possono fornire informazioni sul modo in cui i service provider possono trasformare in ricavi i loro investimenti nelle reti WiFi.

Wifi availability and smooth consumer access are key to exploiting the benefits of Wifi offload. Assuring Wifi service is the only way to make sure that happens.

  • Service Provider

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